- Title: Du Plessis treated unfairly over ball-tampering controversy, say South Africans
- Date: 22nd November 2016
- Summary: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (FILE - JANUARY 21, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF DU PLESSIS HITTING THE BALL DURING A PRACTICE SESSION
- Embargoed: 7th December 2016 12:17
- Keywords: South Africa cricket Faf du Plessis Australia
- Location: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
- City: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Cricket,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA00259J1CFZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Faf du Plessis has been found guilty of ball-tampering and fined his entire match fee from the second test against Australia in Hobart but the South Africa captain has been cleared to play in this week's third and final match of the series.
Du Plessis received the punishment following an International Cricket Council (ICC) hearing in Adelaide on Tuesday (November 22), two days ahead of South Africa's first day-night test match at the Adelaide Oval.
South African cricket fans largely felt that the decision was unfair.
"Firstly, I don't really think it's fair because when it happened I really, really thought it was a joke," said Geoffrey Toyana, the coach of Highveld Lions Cricket Club in Johannesburg. "As the Protea players have come out as well saying it is a joke. Over the years I mean they guys go onto the field chewing gums with sweets with jelly tots and all those things. And I don't think that a mint can change the shape of the ball or just to get the ball to reverse."
Cricket fan, Mcebisi, added: "I think it's not fair, it's still unfair because if we go to ICC, the disciplinary process; I don't think they've got evidence enough of whether he tampered with the ball or not. So unless they've found something that is tangible - that the man has tampered with the ball because when they show us on TV, there was nothing clear or what led to the tamperament (sic) of the ball."
The 32-year-old, standing in for injured regular skipper AB de Villiers, was charged by the ICC on Friday (November 18) after footage emerged that appeared to show the Proteas skipper applying saliva to the ball while sucking on a sweet.
After hearing representations and evidence from the umpires at last week's second test as well as Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) head of cricket John Stephenson, ICC match referee Andy Pycroft found Du Plessis guilty.
The London-based MCC remains the copyright holder to the laws of cricket.
Three demerit points had also been added to Du Plessis's disciplinary record, the governing body added.
If a player accumulates four-to-seven demerit points within a two-year period they are converted into two suspension points, which brings a ban for one test or two one-day internationals or Twenty20s, whatever comes first.
Du Plessis, who pleaded not guilty to the charge, had previously been sanctioned for ball-tampering after a test against Pakistan in 2013.
He was then fined 50 percent of his match fee after he was caught on camera rubbing the ball against a zip on his pocket on the third day of the match in Dubai.
The Proteas have wrapped up the three-match series in Australia with a game to spare after routing the hosts by an innings and 80 runs in the Hobart test.
The ball-tampering charge angered the South African camp and senior batsman Hashim Amla launched an impassioned defence of Du Plessis on Friday in a public show of solidarity with the entire team standing behind him.
The Proteas management complained on Monday (November 21) that Du Plessis had been subject to 'harassment' by Australian media after a TV reporter was involved in a physical confrontation with a team security guard at Adelaide Airport.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None